Progesterone concentrations during estrous cycle of dairy cows exposed to electric and magnetic fields.

Department of Animal Science, McGill University, Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada.
Bioelectromagnetics (Impact Factor: 2.02). 02/1998; 19(7):438-43. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-186X(1998)19:73.0.CO;2-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sixteen multiparous nonpregnant lactating Holstein cows (each weighing 662 +/- 65 kg in 150.4 +/- 40 day of lactation) were confined to wooden metabolic cages with 12:12 h light:dark cycle during the experiment. The cows were divided into two sequences of eight cows each and exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) in an exposure chamber. This chamber produced a vertical electric field of 10 kV/m and a uniform horizontal magnetic field of 30 microT at 60 Hz. One sequence was exposed for three estrous cycles of 24 to 27 days. During the first estrous cycle, the electric and magnetic fields were off; during the second estrous cycle, they were on; and during the third estrous cycle, they were off. The second sequence was also exposed for three 24 to 26 days estrous cycles, but the exposure to the fields was reversed (first estrous cycle, on; second estrous cycle, off; third estrous cycle, on). The length of each exposure period (21 to 27 days) varied according to the estrous cycle length. No differences were detected in plasma progesterone concentrations and area under the progesterone curve during estrous cycles between EMF nonexposed and exposed periods (2.28 +/- 0.17 and 2.25 +/- 0.17; and 24.5 +/- 1.9 vs. 26.4 +/- 1.9 ng/ml, respectively). However, estrous cycle length, determined by the presence of a functional corpus luteum detected by concentrations of progesterone equal to or more than 1 ng/ml plasma, was shorter in nonexposed cows than when they were exposed to EMF (22.0 +/- 0.9 vs. 25.3 +/- 1.4 days).

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    ABSTRACT: Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are generated by the transmission of electricity through high tension lines traversing rural areas. Previous studies showed increased dry matter intake (DMI) and fat corrected milk in dairy cows exposed to EMF. Because EMF exposure has been shown to suppress pineal release of melatonin in some species, it was hypothesized that EMF effects resemble those of exposure to long days. Previous studies have shown that DMI and milk production increase in dairy cattle in response to long day photoperiods, and this has been observed in association with increased circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), but not growth hormone (GH). The hypothesis that EMF act by modifying the response to photoperiod was tested by subjecting dairy cows to controlled EMF exposure while keeping them under short-day conditions. Sixteen lactating, pregnant Holstein cows were exposed to a vertical electric field of 10 kV/m and a horizontal magnetic field of 30 microT in a crossover design with treatment switchback. Two groups of eight cows each were exposed to EMF for 16 h/d in either oftwo sequences. Each sequence consisted of three consecutive 28-d periods. All animals were maintained under short day conditions (8 h light, 16 h dark) during the trial. DMI and plasma IGF-1 were increased (P < 0.01) during EMF exposure (17.03 vs.16.04 kg/d, SE = 0.4; 137 +/- 6 ng/ml vs 126 +/- 6, respectively). The mean GH concentration was not affected, but a treatment x hour interaction was detected, with GH lower for the EMF exposed animals during the first 16 h of the sampling period, and higher for the last 8 h. Overall, the yield of milk or its components was not affected by EMF exposure, but milk yield was significantly higher for the exposed animals during wk 4 of treatment.
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on sex hormones of adult female Spague-Dawley rats were investigated. Adult female rats were exposed to a 50 Hz sinusoidal magnetic field at approximately 25 microT (rms) for 18 weeks before they returned to their normal life with unexposed counterparts. Serum level of Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), progesterone, and estrogen were measured before, after, and during the exposure. Body and uterine weights were not affected by the field. A significant reduction in absolute and relative ovarian weights in exposed rats was observed when compared with sham-exposed controls (P < 0.05). The reduction in the levels of gonadotropins (FSH and LH) was significant after six weeks of exposure (P < 0.005). FSH levels were affected only on week 6 of exposure while LH remained affected during at 12 and 18 weeks (P < 0.05). Interestingly, no significant effects were found at 6 and 12 weeks after removing the field. The level of progesterone and estrogen was significantly decreased after 12 weeks of exposure (P < 0.05), while no other effects on progesterone level was observed during exposure or after removing the exposure. The level of estrogen was also significantly reduced at 12 weeks after removing the field (P < 0.05). These results suggest possible adverse effect on mammalian fertility and reproduction. The effects of ELF-MF on sex hormones were shown to be partly reversible.
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